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Sony’s Thread Shop to acquire Araca merch division

Sony Music Entertainment will bolster its merchandise offering by acquiring the music merch division of the Araca Group, and clients Pink, Zayn and Led Zeppelin

By Jon Chapple on 07 Aug 2019

Araca merch at the Pink pop-up store in Melbourne last year

Araca merch at the Pink pop-up store in Melbourne last year


image © The Araca Group

The Thread Shop, Sony Music’s merchandise unit, is to acquire the music merch division of the Araca Group, a US theatrical production and entertainment merchandising company.

Araca’s music merch roster includes artists such as Led Zeppelin, Pink, Shania Twain, Dua Lipa, Sugarland and Zayn Malik. The purchase of Araca, headquartered in LA and with offices in New York, Las Vegas, London and Sydney, significantly grows Sony Music’s in-house merchandising business, and several Araca team members have joined Thread Shop to work on the companies’ new integrated roster.

Richard Story, president of Sony Music Entertainment’s commercial music group, comments: “As artists continue to seek out merchandising opportunities to complement their music revenues, branding and marketing, Sony Music is significantly expanding its presence in this growing area of the business under the leadership of [Thread Shop SVP, strategy] Howard Lau.

“The acquisition of the Araca Group’s music merchandise division will further strengthen the Thread Shop’s artist roster and infrastructure and the competitive capabilities we offer to the music community.”

“Artists continue to seek out merchandising opportunities to complement their music revenues, branding and marketing”

Sony’s major-label rivals Universal and Warner also have their own merchandise divisions, in the form of Bravado/Epic Rights and EMP Merchandising, respectively.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity this acquisition provides for our music merchandise division,” says Michael Rego, CEO of the Araca Group, commenting on the Sony deal. “The team at the Thread Shop is artist-focused, passionate and well positioned to build upon the merchandising programs [sic] that Araca has created for our music clients.”

Sales of music merchandise were were worth nearly US$3.5 billion in 2018, IQ revealed last month, with more artists seeking to grow their merchandise offerings to offset limited revenues from music streaming.

The agreement with Araca comes as Sony seeks to also increase its presence in live, announcing on the same day the acquisition of a majority stake in UK promoter Senbla.

 


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